The Mosaic Law's penal system (among others) includes the severe punishment of death by stoning. To be a little gruesome here: it takes a while to be killed in this way, and so there would theoretically be sufficient time (and impetus) for repentance and penitence before God—and consequently the punishment would take care of most or all of the temporal punishment due to the sin committed.
One Scripture especially comes to mind:
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (DRB) It is absolutely heard, that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as the like is not among the heathens; that one should have his father's wife. 2 And you are puffed up; and have not rather mourned, that he might be taken away from among you, that hath done this deed. 3 I indeed, absent in body, but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, him that hath so done, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus; 5 To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do any Church Fathers write along these lines (the merciful/practical, and not merely penal, nature of the death penalty)?